PRINCETON — The controversy is finally over. Reagan Middle School will remain open.
Princeton Elementary School district superintendent Tim Smith was pleased to announce at Monday’s board meeting the new grade site plans to ensure the Tiskilwa school will remain open.
Beginning in fall 2014, Smith and the administrative team recommended to the board the following: three pre-kindergarten classrooms and kindergarten will go to Douglas Elemenatry, grades 1-2 will go to Jefferson, grades 3-4 will go to Lincoln, grades 5-8 will go to Logan, and one pre-kindergarten classroom at Reagan will service pre-school students in the Tiskilwa community.
Also at Reagan, Smith recommended extending lease agreements to Bureau-Marshall-Putnam special education cooperative and the private Crossroads High School. Approximate rent for BMP would be $44,000 annually to be paid to the district, and Crossroads’ rent would be anywhere between $6,000 and $12,000, depending on student enrollment and space needed.
“I feel very good about these recommendations,” Smith said. “The entire community has given great feedback and we’ve had good public participation. I just wanted to comment on the level of respect that has been shown to this process, not just from the board, but from the entire community because it has been a very difficult situation.”
The building use recommendations were passed with a roll call vote.
“I wanted to give credit to the administrative team because I’ve gotten great feedback from them,” Smith said after the board’s approval. “I can guarantee you that what has been recommended here is due to that feedback from staff.”
However, if the BMP agreement fails, Smith says that will financially require the district office be moved to Douglas in order to capture additional savings. He explained that in turn would require sending the entire pre-kindergarten program to Reagan in order to free up space at Douglas, covering that cost with the grant.
In other news at Princeton Elementary Board:
* State revenue due totals $374,751 with most of that late funding due to the education fund at $270,003 and $104,748 to the transportation fund.
* Robert Bima, principal at Lincoln Elementary and Reagan Middle School, announced the students in those buildings will be collecting donations for Washington tornado relief. He said many teachers are having dress-up days for students who bring in donations. Donations will then be given to the American Red Cross.
Katlyn Rumbold can be reached at (815) 879-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.